My Media Diet: Ms. Marvel’s Yasmeen Fletcher

The star of the first Muslim superhero comic in the Marvel Cinematic Universe shares what she’s been reading, watching, memeing and more.

The stories of white men have long dominated the comic world. But with the releases of the mega-successful Black Panther in 2018 and Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten last year, diversity on the big screen is, slowly but surely, finding its footing amongst superheroes. Now, it’s the turn of Ms. Marvel – Marvel’s first project with a predominantly South Asian and Middle Eastern cast.

Way back in 2013, Marvel announced that the traditionally blonde military hero would be reimagined as Muslim teenager Kamala Khan. Ever since, fans have been eagerly anticipating her arrival. Khan, played by Iman Vellani, is a Jersey city-raised Pakistani Muslim. Troubled by social media triggered insecurities, alongside the angst of those awkward teen years, she has to deal with racial microaggressions and the weight of becoming a superhero.

Emerging actress Yasmeen Fletcher, of Lebanese-American descent, stars alongside Khan, playing the titular character’s best friend, where the duo bond over their shared experiences as second-generation Muslim immigrants. But their friendship hits a crossroad when, unaware of her friend’s double life, Nakia grows frustrated with Kamala’s constant disappearances. Life as a superhero, eh?

Having already worked with Disney+ in Upside Down Magic, Fletcher is a long-standing fan of the OG Ms. Marvel comic and wanted the role from the moment she heard about the project. I was a fan of the comics before I knew that the show was a thing,” Fletcher, 19, says. And then it was rumoured to be a show and I immediately reached out to my manager to be a part of this, like any place they could fit me in.”

It wasn’t all plain sailing, though. Initially after auditioning in 2020, she learnt that she didn’t get the role. After spending two weeks crying while eating pizza on her friend’s bedroom floor, her dad surprised her with the news – she was about to play Nakia. I called my friend as soon as I got the news and said, thanks for the pizza, but I’m actually leaving for six months!” says Fletcher.

Below, we give Yasmeen Fletcher the My Media Diet treatment, finding out what she’s reading, watching, listening to and laughing at.

The last article I found myself thinking about was…

Articles about Roe v. Wade; I’ve been reading a lot of them and they’ve been on my mind. It’s scary as a woman in general but this will affect women of colour and women from low-income areas the most. It will be a lot harder and a lot scarier for them.

The last new artist I discovered on Spotify was…

Eloise; she came up in my daily mix and I’ve been listening to her obsessively.

The last picture I liked on Instagram was…

My friend Kennedy directed a short film and she posted the behind-the-scenes of it. I remember because I was like, oh, Kennedy, good for you!

The last TikTok I sent to a friend was…

I deleted TikTok at the beginning of this year because I was spending so much time on it. It’s so time-consuming! I was spending three hours every night just scrolling and scrolling, it was so bad.

The last series I binged (or watched a lot of) was…

I’ve binged two recently, one is this really, really cute show on Netflix called Heartstopper and the other one is Severance.

The last Reddit thread I got sucked into was…

I’m not a Reddit user, it’s like a black hole of the internet that I haven’t looked into!

The last book I stayed awake reading was…

There’s this really cheesy romance book that I bought at Target for fun called Alex Approximately. I’m ashamed to admit it but it’s one of my favourite books now. It shouldn’t be embarrassing though, cheesy romance books are lighthearted, I don’t have to think too hard about them and they take my mind off things!

The last new word I learned was…

Sometimes I’ll go on Merriam Webster’s word of the day so fun fact, yesterday’s was fractious” which means troublesome or unruly.

The last meme that made me laugh aloud was…

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